Ethereum Hard Fork Goes Through Successfully

The software updated at block 4,370,000 and the new network is incompatible with clients who did not update. Last-minute updates and additions achieved the update on time, as there was talk of delay ahead of the weekend.

The Ethereum hard fork is operational as of bloc 4,370,000, and already running for a few hours. The major changes to the Ethereum protocol include lowered miner rewards and an artificial delay of a mining "ice age" where difficulty would climb to impossible levels. The grace period for miners is 18 months until the next update.

Byzantium was the first stage of the "Metropolis" update. After the second stage, the Ethereum network would continue to evolve into a proof-of-stake blockchain.

The Byzantium fork was announced way ahead of time and tested since September 19. But only at the last moment users received the right, updated versions of full node wallets such as Geth, Parity and the core Ethereum wallet. Initially, the update was expected on October 17th, but block time is relative and the target block was reached faster.

Users of light wallets would not have to worry about updating- but for others, the hard fork arrived a bit fast, and Ethereum had to resort to last-minute warnings to update or remain locked into a dead blockchain.

The market price of Ethereum climbed toward $350, but for now it is uncertain whether the hard fork caused the rise, or if the price made an erratic move after hovering around $300 for weeks.

Currently, the network seems to operate without unintended consequences. But last-minute problems with faulty client software almost led to a delay in the update. The team showed an impromptu "for celebration" on social media.

The Byzantium hard fork is in fact a collection of "Ethereum Improvement Proposals", or EIPs, with minor or larger effects on the blockchain.